View Full Version : Please need helpful advice!

02-10-2010, 07:03 PM
Hello everyone,
I am new to this forum so I need all the help I can get. Here is my situation. I adopted a wonderful pyr from a no-kill shelter. He came from another shelter were he was probably abused and had no socialization! We were told he was really shy and afraid of males. We took him anyway, and he's been doing really good (he is not afraid of me anymore but he lacks socials skills afraid of everyone and everything?) We are trying to crate training but he refuses to go in, after waiting for minutes he finally goes in but he will bark, cry, the whole time. after a few minutes he's covered with his own spit from barking. We hate to see him like that but we want to crate train him before we let him out around the house when we are gone for work! we tried covering the crate and that didn't work. one more thing because of his shyness and hate of noise and everything he's attached to my wife(follows her around). also he also gets that way when my wife leaves and im still in the house, but he will not display the same behavior if I leave(hence the problem with males) :)

02-10-2010, 08:07 PM
Not all dogs are made for crates. Some dogs like the wolfhound in my signature picture are claustrophobic and will panic in a connived space. Others like Missy love the alone time. My shar-pei barks like there is no tomorrow in a kennel because he feels like he is being abandoned when he is in one. These are things to think about when it comes to your dog and a crate.

Davey Benson
02-11-2010, 11:36 AM
I wouldn't be quick to think "abuse" as being the cause of that behavior.

My border collie cross I got 10 years ago was a little this way when I got her. She was extreamly shy and was afraid of everything. She was a "mommas girl" because she was attached to the lady of the house of the previous owner, not the gentleman! At the time we first got her, my sister was living with me, and she just loved her, but was afraid of me. It simply took a lot of time to work her out of her shell. But I am patient, and I just kept her with me all the time. She soon learned that I wasn't going to eat her, beat her, etc. She was so fragel, you didn't have to yell at her to correct her even, just looking at her cross eyed would make her drop down and do the "submissive Urination". (oh wow, did that ever take time to train her out of!!!!) I know for a fact that she wasn't abused before I picked her up because I know her owners, and I know without a doubt that they never beat her or abused her.

In just a year or so, she was no longer afraid of everything. However she still doesn't like the vacuum cleaner, lawnmower, guns, firecrackers, fireworks, or anything else that makes a lot of noise, but she is killer with working livestock, loves to ride in vechicles, tractors, etc, and loves me.

I met up with her previous owners just a couple years ago. One thing the lady commetted on was "I'm so glad she worked out so good as a livestock dog, because she was so shy as a puppy". (hmmmm.... sounds like they knew she had issues with livestock, maybe why I got her so cheep)

So the whole purpose of telling you about this border collie cross is to let you know that shy doesn't necessairly mean abused, and just give it time. Lots and lots of time. Dogs just aren't a good match for impatient people. ;)

02-11-2010, 02:10 PM
I would agree with Davey that a shy dog doesn't always mean an "abused" dog. Some dogs are just insecure by nature. I have one like that. He's afraid of people by nature and will shy away if a person tries to pet him. Not infrequently people have asked whether he was abused by someone. The answer is absolutely not because we've had him since he was 8 weeks old.

I mention this because sometimes an owner will feel more sorry for a dog that is deemed to have been abused. This does not help the dog. A insecure dog needs confident and positive handling to build up their confidence.

Jeyzero, cudos for you and your wife for giving a home to a pyr in need. He does sound like a bit of a emotional mess. A lot of patience will be needed to coax him out of his fears. Like Tsunibear said, some dogs just don't take well to the crate. How long have you had him? Have you spent time with him just to associate good things with the crate, without ever closing the crate door on him? With a dog that exhibits so much anxiety, expect to take only tiny baby steps at a time; something like him stepping into a crate is a giant step and cause for celebration! These little baby steps can take days or weeks to work up to closing the crate door. Is there a way to block him with a baby gate in a bigger area? maybe he's better with that??

02-11-2010, 03:58 PM
Make the crate a positive experience. Put food in the back, his diner etc and then ignore him. DO NOT SHUT HIM IN. Crate training is just that. Watch for sighns of stress though as some dogs take a long time to crate train if they had a bad experience. DO NOT PAT THE DOG WHEN HE IS STRESSED AS THIS PRAISES HIS ANXIETY. Just in case you were doing that, and keep in mind, he's a dog not a human and you should be good to go! Congrats on your pyr!

pyr haven
02-11-2010, 06:21 PM
hi jeyzero, i had a very shy male pup too. definately not abused, just the way he was. i didnt use the classic crate instead i used a room wit baby gate as suggested here earlier, it may be work better. i discover early on he prefer to eat outdoors and afraid of small tight spaces. (well, this will all change drastically as he grew of this shyness). the way davey benson i cudnt describe any better, he will learn to trust u. mine also did not like human males, and i am so happy to say yesterday while i was busy, a man walked up and petted my pup (i have always cautioned strangers to ignore unless he comes up to them 1st), and my pup looked quite pleased wit it. give him space, lots of patient socialization and love (mine loves baby talk :rolleyes: :p , so we always approach him softly prior to petting him) and calm confident leadership so he can trust u to take care of him. Oh and quiet reprimand, pyrs are very attuned to people and sensitive. mine is so smart and is very obedient wit commands, incl hand signals.

btw diverting a little i can swear my pyrs can detect good hearted people (not tat I am a good judge!) good luck keep us posted

02-11-2010, 08:58 PM
My Pyr, Bruce (now... 8 months old)...HATED HIS CRATE when we brought him home at 8 weeks old....and he was only in the crate the first two night we had him (and he didn't stay in there all night. He would cry and carry on and it just broke my heart. My husband ended up sleeping on the couch in the living room and Bruce would sleep on the floor/carpet next to him for the first couple months. However, we continued to use the crate during the day while we were at work for a month or so....(since we didn't really have a choice) ...we had someone come at lunch time, and still do, to play with him and let him outside to do his business...and then I got some REALLY GOOD ADVICE from our breeder. She mentioned that pyrs usually prefer an entire ROOM versus a crate. She suggested making him a "safe room" like a spare bedroom or the bathroom. We opted for our bathroom (because it was easier to clean) and put a gate (that swings open) across the doorway...that way the bathroom door can be left wide open and Bruce could see down the hallway thru the bars of the gate. He was SOOO much happier in the bathroom. I made sure the vanity drawers were empty (although he never opened any of them) and that the toilet paper was hidden...and anything on the sink or that he could possibly reach was out of there, toilet seat down, etc. He was much happier and I would give him a treat when I left for work...and he would usually not cry when I left. He was just happy to be out of the crate. However...our bathroom is tiny and Bruce is now huge.... so we now give him 1/2 of the first floor. We have two gates at the end of the hall ...one so he can't go into the kitchen and another gate so he cannot go into the livingroom. This gives him the full hallway, the bathroom and the den. Just this week we are letting him have full run of the house for 1/2 of the work day ..... we will see how this goes. The "safe room" really seems to be the best option in my opinion and to date, is the best advice I have received. We ended up loaning our crate to someone else and haven't needed it since. :D

02-12-2010, 04:57 AM
my joy did well being crated when she was small, and i used it when at work just cause she chewed everything and i didn't want her to get electrocuted or anything. then she just got too darn big and i didn't have the heart to get the super-sized crate. she does just fine now in the house, except for the occasional stealing of an entire box of cereal she can cleverly find hidden behind something. i do think she's nocturnal,guards at night and sleeps alot in the day. and she's totally digging this cold weather. peace.

02-12-2010, 06:46 AM
my joy did well being crated when she was small, and i used it when at work just cause she chewed everything and i didn't want her to get electrocuted or anything. then she just got too darn big and i didn't have the heart to get the super-sized crate. she does just fine now in the house, except for the occasional stealing of an entire box of cereal she can cleverly find hidden behind something. i do think she's nocturnal,guards at night and sleeps alot in the day. and she's totally digging this cold weather. peace.

The same here. The first 6 months I crated her only when I went to work. At night she always slept and still does sleep in the bedroom. Once she got older I could trust her more and more and now she uses living, dining room and kitchen when we are gone. Most of the time she will sit behind the couch at the bay window and look outside and bark at anything and everything :)

02-12-2010, 11:36 AM
Thanks for the advice. a little more info/update. Dallas is been with us for about 2 months now. yes he was afraid of me at first but now we are best buds, he follows me and listen to my commands("come", Stop). We take our time and we been very careful with him and taking baby steps. I think the problem is not the crate but separation anxiety! He goes in the crate and lays, sometimes sleeps or eats. but when we leave(especially my wife) he begins to bark, yell, everything. So how can we deal with this separation anxiety?

02-12-2010, 12:05 PM
I have a brilliant idea. Get another pyr to keep him company!! :D KIDDING!!

Have you tried the method of crating him with a yummy chewing, let him get going on the chewing, leave him, come back in 30 seconds, and then work up the time of leaving him alone? Will he sit in the crate quietly while you guys are home? You might want to consider incorporate into obedience training by having him sit or stay and your wife work up to having him stay 10, 20, 30 seconds, 1 minute, and going further and further in distance until she's out of his sight. The goal is to condition him not to work himself into a frenzy the minute she's out of his sight.

For an unusual method, I once read a story by the author Jon Katz about an irish setter that had severe separation anxiety. She would bark and cry and chew at the crate and drool in giant puddles if left alone. Her owner tried all sorts of different methods and nothing worked. They finally resorted to putting a bark collar on the dog to stop her from barking while in the crate. The dog barked, got sprayed, and stopped barking. Because she stopped barking, she didn't have the opportunity to elevate herself into a frenzied state. Bingo, that was the breakthrough for that dog. Not to say this is the method to use, but something to think about. In some sense, the anxiety behavior becomes a habitual behavior for these dogs. If you can find a way to break that habit, it may be the trick.

02-12-2010, 02:20 PM
that's funny you mentioned that, we almost got 2 female prys instead of dalls(I think they are his sisters) but they were in a worst shape(extremelly shy to people, male or female) plus we don't have the room for 2 BIG dogs

The problem is that we worked during the week everyday except my wife sometimes has a day off during the week. He was doing ok in the crate for a while but all of the sudden he went crazy and we dont know why. just yesterday he found a way out by bending the heck out of the front door of the crate!! so we are going to switch to leaving him out in a small area. I hope it works

PS: he is a wonderfull dog and I really want to fix this anxiety behavior otherwise everything else he is really good at!! :)

nick's spirit
02-13-2010, 05:32 PM
Time, patience, and consistancy....
Have your wife, leave the house, quietly, no fair saying "I'll be right back" for a few minutes at first...then longer & longer. Treat Dallas as you would any other puppy who is just starting out & doesn't know that she truly will come back every time. Kong's with treats, keep him busy, he only gets this "special" treat when mom goes off for awhile.
Sounds like you are dedicated to this guy...lucky dog!

02-15-2010, 03:00 PM
Nicew advise Nick.

Do not make a big deal at the door at all, infact, completley ignore him. If you having a real hard time, call in www.barkbusters.com they work with a lifetime guarantee and they have solves SA cases in one day or it can take months. The dog most likely has a bad assocation with people leaving, who knows what happened, to be honest, I'd call in the experts for this one before it gets worse.

by the way Jewel's idea isn't a bad one, some dogs do better with a second dog. Just be careful as you could end up with a mess of training! ugh.

Just make sure you do not praise him when he is panting, staring at the door, worrying, showing any kind of anxiety. Tail wagging is NOT always happy, it's anxiety, yawning is also anxiety and stress. Do not attempt to 'reassure' as that is just praising his worry. My pup had wicked SA as a baby. She's almost there yet, a year later ugh.l

02-15-2010, 11:22 PM
great advice, as usual. i think we unknowingly encourage the negative behavior, because we're humans not dogs and it's done from love of our critters. i did learn that with separation anxiety to be quick and matter-of-fact or you will feed into it though you may not realize it. folks on this forum have made a really positive difference in my joy's life with me, and she's a really happy active pyr. thanks! peace.

02-16-2010, 08:06 AM
I have used that positive "good girl!" thing when Queenie has been barking past two nights (at 1 am). It works!!! She immediately realizes I have acknowledged her warning and has stopped barking......thanks for that input! :D :D :D

pyr haven
02-16-2010, 07:07 PM
i take the opportunity to echo dslwa in tat i found not only great advice on this website, the support when i was in distress! my pyrs are amazing (cross fingers :D ) at 1 year old. we love them so much and everyday we are grateful for this gift for they make our lives complete!